Many have heard of the real man, the myth, the legend – Sorry Mr. Delgrosso – Jack Ryan and his quest to run a marathon at this year’s Walk-A-Thon fundraiser. In order to get a better idea of his motivations of accomplishing this feat, I was able to get a one-on-one, exclusive interview with the Casady runner himself. Keep in mind that in this interview, Jack is in the process of breaking the record unofficially set by himself and running at the quick pace he is known for.
Spencer: What lap are you on right now?
Jack Ryan: Right now I am on the eighth lap and have done seven total.
S: Impressive. So what is your goal today?
JR: Today, well, I’ve heard that one lap is half a mile. So I am trying to run 26.2 miles. And if you multiply that by two, you get 52.4. So my goal is to run 53 laps.
S: Last year do you know how many laps you ran?
JR: I do! I ran 37 laps last year, which is 18.5 miles. And, actually, that was before I really got into good running shape. So that is why I think I can run a full marathon.
S: Now, how many people did you get to pledge for you?
JR: Noah Hassoun counted up for me and he said 49 [pledges].
S: 49 different pledges, really?!
JR: Yup. Some of them were just for 20 dollars total; some were one dollar per lap. I asked a lot of students for one cent a lap. Those add so I could raise two dollars a person.
S: I don’t wanna get too nosy, but I have to ask: what is the highest pledge you have received per lap?
JR: For one pledge, the highest was four dollars per lap.
S: I don’t blame that person. That is going to really add up.
JR: Oh they know! They were very generous.
S: Reminds me of one of The Office episodes when Michael Scott donates 25 dollars to an event similar to this, and ends up paying a fortune.
JR: I love The Office; I’ve watched the whole thing like three times.
S: Now, when you’re running, are there any motivations you have or anything else you think about?
JR: Well, when I started running in the summer, I was building up to about 8 miles a day. My goal was to be faster than Camillo Haller.
S: I’ve run with Camillo before. He is wicked fast.
JR: Yeah. I thought about that a lot. If I kept running, I could be faster than him. And I’ve done research and talked to people about how to get faster in Cross Country. That was my motivation then, but now I just think about my running form a lot like stride length and stuff. It’s constantly critiquing my form because the best runners do. They constantly critique their form to be better and better. It ends up making them much faster in the race.
S: That’s pretty cool! Next question: your style of running is different than the average runner. When I see normal people run, they usually look like they exert a lot of energy; but when you run, not as much. What tips would you give to people who are interested in running in the future?
JR: Well, I only started running sophomore year, I never ran before that. At the time, I only ran about a seven minute mile. I kept running and running for about 3 miles a day. After about two or three months, I could run 8 miles pretty easily at an 8 minute pace. The way you really run long distances is to run constantly without stopping.
S: You mentioned earlier that you ran 8 miles a day. Was that scattered throughout the day or all at once?
JR: Oh all at once! Honestly, I know this guy from St. Marks, who is ranked number one in the mile in track and finished 2nd at Cross Country at SPC this year. He can run a 4:15 mile, a 15:40 5k. He’s super fast. I talked to him about summer training and he said that during the summer he ran like 65 miles a week, which is a little less than 10 miles a day. But he will split it up. He will run in the morning and then in the evening. Some people do that, but for me it depends on my schedule.
S: Well, Jack, thank you for this interview, and The Crier wishes you the best in your running endeavors.
Jack Ryan finished the day with 40 laps around the Casady lake. For anyone else, this would be a lifetime milestone; but for Jack Ryan, this was underachieving. While the goal for Jack was 53 laps, he was able to raise over 1,000 dollars for the Walk-A-Thon. (Not including the 300 bucks he raised for getting his head shaved.) The Crier thanks Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, not only for this interview, but for the contributions he has made to Casady School as an individual both on and off the track.